Tasmanian family holiday destinations that are full of fun and adventure
These Tasmanian school holiday activities will get you making the most of your own backyard and exploring the great outdoors.
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School's out and it's time for some fun, and thankfully, you've got a stack of options for your next family trip.
Will you tramp the trails on Cradle Mountain? Perhaps you'll head to the sandy shores of Bruny Island? Maybe you'll unwind in the small town of Strahan? We've sorted out the ideas, now all you have to do is pick one (or two).
However you decide to spend the school holidays, it's important to keep on top of the state's current travel restrictions and maintain good hygiene and physical distancing practices.
Our favourite Tasmanian family holiday destinations
1. Bay of Fires
Instantly recognised by its red-tinged rocks, the Bay of Fires region is a child's outdoor playground.
While you relax, they can play among the stones, feel the sand between their toes and snorkel or swim the waters of its inlets.
For more active types, there are numerous walks among native flora and fauna.
- Best for: Beach getaways, younger children.
- Where to stay: Bay Of Fires Character Cottages, Bay Of Fires Breakaway or BIG4 St Helens Holiday Park.
- What to do: Take it easy and go on a day tour from Launceston, go quoll spotting in Ben Lomond National Park or visit the nearby towns of St Helens and Scamander.
2. Port Arthur
Walking back through time to the historic site of Port Arthur is a rite of passage for all Tassie kids.
Tucked away at the end of the Tasman Peninsula, this once penal settlement is now an open-air museum of prison and church ruins. Tours run daily, and for kids who love a good spook, ghost tours are held from dusk.
Make a longer trip of it and stay in the area to hike the craggy coastal trails of the Tasman Peninsula, including part of the famous Three Capes Walk.
- Best for: History buffs, outdoor adventures.
- Where to stay: Port Arthur Motor Inn, Port Arthur Villas or NRMA Port Arthur Holiday Park.
- What to do: Take the grand tour of Port Arthur, hit the water on a Tasman Island nature cruise or visit the nearby Tasmanian Conservation Park.
3. Cradle Mountain
This Tassie gem needs no introduction. It's arguably the island's most famous mountain and offers hikes that vary from casual to challenging.
Take the little ones around the circle walk or put your best foot forward to scale the mountain for epic landscape views.
In the village, hotels have their own bushland walks where you can meet native wildlife. They're also super cosy if you've got babies or toddlers or if you're seeking a pampered getaway.
- Best for: Hikes, adventure activities and relaxation.
- Where to stay: Cradle Mountain Hotel, Discovery Parks – Cradle Mountain or Cradle Mountain Highlanders.
- What to do: Hike the many trails, thrill-seek with a canyoning and abseiling experience, meet Tassie devil joeys at Devils @ Cradle Wildlife Park or explore the land on horseback.
This port town on the west coast of the island is a hidden gem, with trails to tramp, a lighthouse to scale and waterfalls to gush over.
It's often used as a gateway to the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park and there are loads of cruises that can take you out there. It's a guaranteed crowd-pleaser where kids can take in the fresh air and the sights and the sounds.
Or, for a more relaxed family getaway, you can sit back in the harbourside town, divulge in its convict history and tuck into its local produce.
- Best for: History and relaxing outdoor pursuits.
- Where to stay: Strahan Village, Castaway Holiday Apartments or Strahan Beach Tourist Park.
- What to do: Cruise down the Gordon River and stop by Sarah Island, ride the rails of the West Coast Wilderness Railway, travel back in time at the ruins of Pillinger or meet the locals in Strahan.
The capital city is the place to go for culturally inclined families. Its art museum MONA is a destination in its own right, serving up quirky artworks that'll fascinate little minds.
Along the harbour are historic warehouses and market stalls where you can meet local makers and purchase artisanal crafts.
Keeping your trip in the big smoke means you won't fall short on activities that suit all budgets and interests, including hikes up Mount Wellington or movies at the local cinema.
- Best for: Culture.
- Where to stay: Waterfront Lodge Motel, Bay View Villas Hobart or Rydges Hobart.
- What to do: Cruise your way to Bruny Island, sail the Derwent River, cycle down Mount Wellington or hop on the big red bus for a cheap and easy way to tour the city. For the ultimate scenic tour, Trafalgar offers a 7-day tour geared at locals, which takes you down to Huonville and up the east coast of Tasmania.
Hobart families searching for a local getaway that won't eat up more than a day or a weekend can turn to Richmond.
This charming town is only 25 kilometres from the city and is surrounded by local farms and wineries with ample space for children to run around.
When you're not eating, give them a taste of Tasmania's history at convict-era sites such as Richmond Gaol and the Oak Lodge museum.
- Best for: Weekend getaways and younger children.
- Where to stay: Red Brier Cottage, Richmond Coachmans Rest or Every Man and His Dog Vineyard.
- What to do: Take driving out of the picture and tour Richmond from Hobart, get close to nature at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary or get spooked inside Richmond Gaol.
Top Tasmanian weekend family getaways
For families who can't get away for a long break, these getaways and attractions are a just few hours out of Hobart or Launceston. Do a quick day trip or make a weekend out of it with the kids.
- Sandy Bay: When the sun's out and the beach is calling, families in Hobart don't have to travel far for a patch of sand. Sandy Bay is one of the most kid-friendly locations with picnic spots, barbeques and a busy esplanade. Other top options are Seven Mile Beach and Kingston.
- Huonville: Located in the Huon Valley, Huonville is a quiet escape for Hobartians that is ideal in the cooler months. This road trip takes you past farmers with roadside food stalls and into forests where you can walk the treetops.
- Cataract Gorge and First Basin: Brimming with hiking trails, well groomed gardens where wildlife roams free and the world's longest single-span chairlift, Cataract Gorge can be a fun day out for the whole brood. While the kids play, you can unwind at the cafe, and it's just a short 10-minute drive from Launceston CBD.
- Hastings Cave State Reserve: Be awed by nature as you tunnel your way through the network of dolomite caves in Hastings. It's a short 90-minute drive from Hobart, though you can make a weekend of it by booking a few caving tours, time in the thermal pools and a easy hike along one of many forest trails.
- Hollybank Wilderness Adventures: Those in the northern half of Tasmania aren't without their own treetop adventures. Hollybank is an easy drive from Launceston and lets you zip through the canopy. The area itself is rife with adventure activities including mountain biking and trail hiking.
- Promised Land/Tasmazia and the Village of Lower Crackpot: Guaranteed to boggle the kids' minds for hours, Promised Land sits between Launceston and Cradle Mountain and is a puzzle lover's paradise. The mammoth mazes of Tasmazia will stump you, while the mini world of the Village of Lower Crackpot will make little ones feel like giants.
- Mole Creek Caves: Nature lovers and adventure seekers can get their fill at Mole Creek Caves. It's an hour west of Launceston and consists of hundreds of caves and sinkholes and one of the largest glow-worm displays you can set your sights on in Australia.
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